Touraine is the region where you’ll be able to discover the châteaux of the Loire Valley and satisfy your love for old stones! Every historical period is represented: from the Middle Ages with the fortresses of the 11th cy to the more delicate châteaux and manors of the Renaissance period, to the rich heritage of the 19th cy.
Don’t forget to visit the museums and writers’ houses such as Leonardo da Vinci’s or Ronsard’s but also churches and vineyard houses in the villages of our territory.
Guided tours are implemented all summer long thanks to the Label Pays d’Art et d’Histoire.
Château Royal d’Amboise : Before becoming a royal château for Charles VIII and then François I, Amboise was a medieval castle, this is why this place is so original and charming. In the château you’ll find Gothic and Renaissance furniture, it will help you be in the Kings’ shoes and imagine how life in Court was. Amboise also welcomed several European artists like Leonardo da Vinci who organised large parties and ceremonies to entertain the King and his Court in the beautiful terraced gardens above the River Loire.
Château du Clos Lucé : If you’re dreaming of walking in Leonardo da Vinci’s shoes, this is the place to be! The Italian genius had been invited in Amboise by François I spent the last years of his life inventing machines and painting things in the Clos Lucé for the King. Come and admire his models and works in the beautiful pink manor and the huge park!
Château d’Azay-le-Rideau : A château on an island or on water, what a strange idea! Azay-le-Rideau was built under the reign of François I, it mixes Italian architecture and French traditions, and we can admire the reflection of the château on the water. You can then have a walk in the gardens to observe nature. The park and the rooftop were beautifully renovated in the last couple years.
Château de Beauregard : It was first designed to be a hunting lodge for King François I but was then restored into a beautiful château by Henri II’s Finance secretary of state. It then became part of the châteaux of the Loire Valley. The domain is surrounded by greenery, discover the architecture and the furniture but don’t forget to have a look at the gallery of portraits with three important generations of French history. There is also an exhibition with portraits of dogs for art lovers!
Château de Blois : If you are eager to learn about the secrets of the French Court and about the life of 7 kings and 10 queens, the château de Blois is the right place for you! Come and explore this architectural treasure in the heart of the city: it is composed of several architectural styles that depict the evolution of the château along the centuries. The walls, ceilings and furniture are the witnesses of many legends and stories, go back in time in Blois!
Château de Brézé : A fortress under a château ? You need to see it to believe it! In fact, Brézé is the largest underground fortress in Europe, it is a labyrinth dug into tuffeau stone meant to protect men and animals during ongoing battles. On the outside you’ll see a beautiful château, but you’ll be amazed by the complexity of this defensive fortress under the ground!
Château de Chambord : Chambord was actually built to be François I’s second home, in the beautiful forests of Sologne. Admire the magnificent spiral staircase that was imagined by Leonardo da Vinci and wander in the French gardens around the château or in the forest, you’ll be amazed by the architecture and the diversity of nature in Chambord.
Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire : On the domain you’ll be able to see the château and the International Garden Festival: it was first a fortress meant to guard the frontier and then was built a Renaissance château overlooking the River Loire. It was owned by Catherine de Medici and then she exchanged it for Chenonceau with Diane de Poitiers. The International Garden Festival goes from April to October, every year a new theme is chosen: there are 25 different flowerbeds and and many art installations, thus mixing nature and culture.
Château de Cheverny : Cheverny is well-known by the fans of The Adventures of Tintin as it inspired Marlinspike Hall in the comics by Hergé. You will be able to visit a museum dedicated to the world of Tintin in the château. But don’t miss the feeding of the dogs at 11 :30 and then stroll around the park in an electric car or an electric boat for a commented visit!
Château de Chenonceau : The architecture of the château is unique as it goes across the River Cher. The Ladies’ château, as it is also called, has been home to several important women such as Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de Medici or Simone Menier. They each have a special story linked to this château and they all participated in finely decorating the many rooms you can now visit! Enjoy the floral composition in every room and the amazing French gardens!
Forteresse Royale de Chinon : You shouldn’t miss this fortress that overlooks the River Vienne and is part of the Loire Valley, amongst many other châteaux! You’ll be able to enjoy a splendid view of the valley and the surroundings. The history of the fortress is very rich since it had been inhabited since the Gallo-Roman period and once welcomed Richard Lionheart and Joan of Arc!
Château de l’Islette : This château looks very much like château d’Azay-le Rideau, but it is surrounded by the River Indre and luxurious nature. This Renaissance château was where Camille Claudel and Rodin would meet and hide their love story.
Château de Langeais : This castle is one of the oldest in France, it was built by Foulques Nerra and then Louis XI added others parts like gardens to modernize the fortress. The gardens offer a lovely view over the château !
Cité Royale de Loches : Foulques Nerra also built a fortress when he came to Loches. Like the château we can find in Langeais, it is composed of a medieval fortress and a château in gothic architecture. The fortress was turned into a prison for a while under the reign of Louis XI. The château was one of the favourite places of the Valois, Joan of Arc, Agnès Sorel or Anne de Bretagne: they stayed there at some point in their life. There is a panoramic view of the town at the top of the fortress too.
Château de Montpoupon : This small familial château is the perfect place to relax in-between two visits of larger châteaux. Moreover, its history is very rich as it has evolved through the centuries, from the Middle Ages to today. The château is finely furnished, from the bedrooms to the kitchens, and the visit of the park is very pleasant, at the heart of the Valley of the Cher. Some buildings are part of a museum dedicated to horses, art, and hunting with hounds.
Château de Valençay : This château is unique for it mixes Classical and Renaissance architecture while still being harmonious. Its architectural features are often compared to the ones of the château de Chambord as Valençay has evolved through the years because of new additions, modifications and even the destruction of an entire wing! You’ll love visiting this charming château and its beautiful gardens.
Château de Villandry : This is the reference in terms of French gardens. François I wanted to outcompete Italy and its architecture, that’s why we have so many beautiful châteaux in the Loire Valley. Villandry is one of the latest châteaux built during the Renaissance period, it is well-known for its splendid gardens that were rearranged by Joachim Carvallo in the 19th cy.
Château d’Ussé : This is the château that inspired Charles Perrault for his tale Sleeping Beauty. Dive into the world of fairy tales thanks to the amazing collection of period costumes and the marvellous architecture! The youngest will dream while adults will fall back into their childhood memories!
Forteresse de Montbazon : You can also find medieval castles in Touraine, situated 15mn South from Tours, you’ll discover medieval crafts such as stonemason, blacksmith, crossbows or storyteller. Your children will even go back home with the objects they made!
Château de Civray – This chateau was originally built in 1715 but its architecture changed at the beginning of the 19th cy as two wings were added. Wander in the 4-ha park after a visit of the château with the owner.
Château Gaillard – This château was the first one to have Renaissance gardens in France: they were created by Dom Pacello under the reigns of Charles VIII and François I, in an attempt to recreate the amazing gardens of Naples. Situated in the very heart of Amboise, this royal domain of 15 ha is